Big Runs Power Volleyball Past South Carolina, 3-0
BATON ROUGE, La. – A balanced offensive attack partnered with a suffocating defensive effort aided LSU to a sweep over South Carolina, 25-15, 25-13, 25-22 Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU (9-11, 4-6 SEC) used several timely runs to break away from South Carolina (8-11, 2-8 SEC) in each set as the Tigers claimed its second sweep of an SEC opponent in a three-match span.
The Tigers recorded a season-high .326 hitting percentage on 39 kills and totaled 10 aces, marking the third time this season LSU has logged double-digit aces. On the defensive end, the Fighting Tigers held the Gamecocks to a .092 attacking percentage thanks to seven blocks and 30 digs. LSU has held opponents under a .100 hitting percentage four times this season.
Outside hitter Jurnee Robinson had a match-high 10 kills and finished with three blocks, two aces and six digs. Right side Ellie Echter registered career-highs of nine kills and a .692 hitting percentage on 13 errorless swings. She also contributed two blocks. Middle blocker Alexis Roberson also had career-highs of nine kills and a .375 hitting percentage and added a match-best five blocks, including one solo block.
Outside hitter Paige Flickinger matched a career-high with five aces and landed six kills with a match-high eight digs. Setter Maddie Waak distributed 19 assists and had five digs and one ace, and setter Emily Mitter handed out 12 assists in the win.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but South Carolina responded with six unanswered points to go ahead, 6-4. After both clubs traded points to a 12-12 tie, LSU pulled away thanks to a 10-1 run, highlighted by an 8-0 burst, that made the score 22-13. The Gamecocks scored the first two points after the timeout, but the Tigers scored the final three to win the frame, 25-15. LSU hit .355 in the opening frame and held South Carolina to a .040 hitting percentage behind three blocks. Ecther and Roberson led LSU with four kills each. Echter had four kills on five swings with no errors for a .800 hitting percentage, and Roberson had one error on nine attacks (.333).
For the second consecutive set, LSU scored the first four points of the stanza, and on the fifth point, South Carolina called its first timeout. The Tigers’ run continued after the pause, and the home team led 9-2 when the Gamecocks took their final timeout. South Carolina came within one point at 13-12, but LSU dominated the remainder of the set by scoring 12 of the last 13 points with a couple of 6-0 runs. In the 25-13 win, The Tigers held the Gamecocks to a -.048 hitting percentage and recorded 10 kills and five aces on the offensive end. Roberson and Robinson paced the team with three kills each, and Flickinger tallied four aces.
It was another quick start for LSU as they led South Carolina 9-2 that featured a 5-0 run. The Gamecocks clawed their way back and put together a late 5-1 run that tied the score at 20 and took their first lead at 22-21. However, LSU answered by scoring the final four points to complete the sweep with a 25-22 victory. LSU hit a match-high .393 in the third set. Robinson turned in five kills on nine swings with one error (.444) and added one ace and one block, while Echter and Flickinger both had three kills on five errorless attempts (.600).
LSU opens the final month of the regular season at Ole Miss at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Gillom Athletics Performance Center in Oxford, Miss.
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